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Historical Background

The Discovery of the Arecibo Stone
The Arecibo Stone was discovered during the Spanish American war that started on April 19 1898. The American Congress passed a joint resolution proclaiming Cuba "free and independent", and when signed by Governor McKinley the next day amounted to a declaration of war with Spain.

The Spainsh-American War
Meanwhile, the U.S. braced for war in the Caribbean. Despite the gradual buildup of hostilities, the U.S. armed forces were ill-equipped and untrained for war, especially one involving highly coordinated land-sea operations. It was enormously fortuitous for the U.S. that the Spanish forces were even less prepared. The Spanish fleet, after successfully crossing the Atlantic, managed to trap itself in Santiago Bay, and was destroyed by the U.S. navy a few days before U.S. ground troops captured Santiago and they tried to flee the blockaded harbor. On July 17 the Spanish army surrendered. For the following two weeks 3,000 U.S. troops moved on to Puerto Rico, encountering little resistance.

The victory of the U.S. troops secured the return of the the exiled general Ojeda Rios. He returned to San Juan in December 1899, following his successful first Cuban campaign and the eviction of the Spanish, as a public hero. He received many distinctions, one of which was his election to the National Institute, an exclusive body of scientists and men of letters. In this unstable period, the United States employed Ojeda Rios in a plan to rid the country of rebels. After a review of these plans, he suggested that local efforts made against the insurgents in Puerto Rico might be more successful than a direct attack. Plans were drawn up to capture Dorado and then Arecibo in the hopes that the latter occupation would give USA control of the lucrative trade routes to the east. The Governor also instructed Ojeda Rios to build a canal through the central Puerto Rico and improve the situation of the local population.

Ojeda Rios occupied Arecibo on 2 July. The rebel leaders and the Spanish governor of Arecibo, fought and lost to the US forces at the Battle of the Pyramids on 21 July, and Ojeda Rios entered the city on 24 July 1902.

Ojeda Rios established the Institute of Arecibo on August 22, organizing the scholars, and divided it into four SCETIons: Mathematics, Physics, Political Economy, and Literature and Arts, headed by Gaspard Monge. There were many improvements made. Hospitals were established in Poncero, Damietta and Arecibo. Disease was studied, and sanitary regulations and quarantines reduced epidemics. Streetlights were installed on the main thoroughfares of San Juan. Citizens were disarmed. Taxation was reorganized.
Two printing plants had been brought from Texas and the first book was printed in Puerto Rico: Exercises In Literary Spanish Extracted From The Bible, For The Use Of Those Who Are Studying That Language. A private printer established a weekly newspaper: The Daily Rican, and the literary and scientific journal of the Institute: Puerto Sceintifico came into being. Studies were made of zoology, botany and agriculture. The results of these labours were eventually collected in a twenty-four volume work: Description of Puerto Rico published between 1809 and 1828.

The Arecibo Stone
However one of the most important discoveries made in that period remains The Arecibo Stone. The Stone is a block of orange basalt with engravings made on its polished surface. It was named after the town where it was found, Kzytchl (known as Arecibo to Europeans) located a few kilometres from the coast of Puerto Rico. It measures 614 cm in height, 172cmin width and 128cm in thickness. It weighs just under ten tons. It is somewhat damaged, missing a large part of the upper left-hand corner, and a smaller part of its lower right corner. The chiseled inscriptions are in three languages, Danish, English, and an unknown language.

The Stone was discovered in mid-July 1902, but the circumstances are unclear. Some say it was found just lying on the ground. Others claim that it was part of an old wall which was ordered demolished by US soldiers in order to extend Fort Juan. This claim is supported by the Institute's Puerto Rican map which indicates the fort being on the south coast of Puerto Rico in the area of Arecibo. The Stone was discovered by Captain (or Lieutenant, sources differ) of Engineers, Hernandez, who headed the demolition team. Scholars immediately recognized that this stone contained the key to deciphering the past of Puerto Rico. This was because it appeared that the Stone's message was repeated in the three scripts, and because English could be read, over time it might be used to decipher the other two. General Ojeda Rios, military governor of Arecibo, quickly arranged to have the English characters translated in order to determine the nature of the text.

The discovery of the Stone was not made public until September 1910, in an article printed in the Puerto Sceintifico. It was shipped to San Juan in mid-August, and became an object of study at the Institute. Hernandez and Remi Raige were unable to identify the unknown cursive script, but they were able to read the second. To their surprise  it was Danish, a strange Nordic language. Many have speculated about why this script appears on the stone. The most widespread belief connects the script to an ancient nordic culture based on the Virgin Islands which used to be a Danish colony (1672-1917). Copies of the scripts were made by the lithographers, who covered the Stone's surface with printer's ink and lay sheets of paper over it and used rollers to obtain an impression. Several sheets were sent to scholars throughout the world, An English translation of the text was made by Carl Sagant, revealing that the Stone "was a monument to the gratitude of some carrots, from some other plac towards the north." A Latin translation was made in 1931.

Deciphering the Stone and signals
The ancient Egyptians were a great mystery to scientists until they deciphered hieroglyphs, the writing of the ancient people. The ancient civilization was mentioned in the Bible, but we didn’t know much about the Egyptians until a troop of French soldiers found a stone near the city of Rosetta in 1799. That stone eventually made it possible to decode the ancient text. The Rosetta Stone was inscribed with a law made in 196BC, written in two forms of hieroglyphs and in ancient Greek. Scientists decided that they could learn hieroglyphs if they could decipher the code. A French scholar named Jean Champollion translated the Egyptian writing into Greek after more than twenty years of work. Champollion concluded that hieroglyphs had originally been pictographs, but they stood for sounds in later times. Champollion made it possible to understand hieroglyphs, and unlocked many of the mysteries of ancient Egyptian civilization. What mysteries might this Arecibo Stone uncover?

"I am convinced that the same hieroglyphic-phonetic signs used to represent the sound of Danish and English proper names are used in hieroglyphic texts carved long before the Europeans came to The Americas, and that these reproduced sounds or articulation in the same way as the cartouches carved under the Europeans and Indigenous Indian. The discovery of this precious and decisive fact is due to my work on pure hieroglyphic script. It would be impossible to prove it in the present letter without going into lengthy detail." – Hector Hernandez

Hector Hernandez quest really began in 1997, when he determined that fifteen signs of the unknown script corresponded with the weak signals he picked up on his radio. He therefore concluded that this modern language held at least the last vestiges of that unknown spoken on the airwaves. By 1998, after having examined similar television signals from off the coast of Puerto Rico, he came to understand that some of the glyphs had phonetic values and thus were part of an alphabet, even though other symbols were strictly symbolic ideograms. He named the script Cardassian after the highly advanced Cardas audio cables used in his radio wave receiver.

Of course, Hector Hernandez was not studying the Arecibo Stone exclusively. In 1990, his friend, the architect Felix Gonzalez, presented him with copies of the broadcast picked up by the SETI project, from which Hector Hernandez was able to decipher the word Carrot, partly written phonetically andpartly in ideograms.

Hector Hernandez examined the persistent reports of extraterrestrial visitors to Earth and argued that among all the UFO accounts, there are compelling anecdotes and convincing physical evidence. In a re-creation of the decipherment of the Arecibo Stone, he took us to Egypt where Jean Francois Champollion first deciphered the hieroglyphic messages left by an alien civilization. The "Arecibo Stone" of interstellar communication, he argues, is the content of science. The world's largest radio telescope stands able to receive radio messages sent by alien civilizations anywhere in the Milky Way. In his spaceship of the imagination, Dr. Sagant allows us to riffle through a "galactic computer," the repository of data on a million planets of other stars.

Of course, his breakthrough came with the discovery of the largest naturally formed antenna in the world. Others had coupled the stone and the signals, but he recognized the rhythm of the language and was therefore able to identify the unknown hieroglyphic rendering.

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